- North Bengal Flood becomes a disaster for over 80,000
- Amartya Sen finds it difficult to eradicate Unionism from Education
- HP CM intervene to close the Strike in India’s Oldest College
- DGCA gone, enters new Civil Aviation Authority CAA
- Punjab City Ludhiyana to have Metro Trains soon
- Bihar grew by 16.71 percent in 2011-2012
- Court Refuses Bail to Recovery Agents of Reliance Communication
- Badal urges PM to save Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s House in Pakistan
- Kashmir Interlocutors Report is Unacceptable says RSS
- Police Arrests one more doctor in AIIMS Paper Leak Case
Posted: 17 Jul 2012 06:30 PM PDT
Siliguri: Floods in Bengal have affected more than 80000 people so far in the three Northern Districts of Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Cooch Behar, causing immense loss of Life and Property.
“With the decrease in rainfall, the water level of major rivers has been receding. The flood situation in the districts is likely to improve over the coming days,” North Bengal Flood Control Authority chairman Narayan Chatterjee said.
As per district officials, over 80,000 people have been affected by the incessant rain and landslides causing flood like situation in North Bengal. While, over 22,000 people have been affected in Jalpaiguri, a similar number of persons have been affected in Darjeelingdistrict. In Cooch Behar, over 40,000 people have been affected.
The administration has set up nearly 60 relief camps across the affected areas and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Army personnel have been deployed to carry rescue and relief works.
State Irrigation Minister Manas Bhunia, who visited the affected areas, said the administration was keeping a close vigil on the embankments across the bank of Teesta and other major rivers.
Over 2,000 homes across the three districts have been fully or partially damaged rendering several thousand people homeless.
With reports of land slide coming from Kalimpong and Kurseong in Darjeeling districts several areas remained completely cut off with the administration unable to send relief materials there.
Posted: 17 Jul 2012 05:30 PM PDT
Former Nobel Laurate Dr. Amartya Sen has observed that Politics and Unionism cannot be eradicated from Academia and has asked for a synergy with them in order to better the Education system of Country.
“Traditionally and globally unions of teachers and students have had political affiliations. The synergy of the two entities has historical importance and the two cannot be separated,” he said.
Speaking at an interactive session on “Problems of school education and the role of teachers” associations” at the Calcutta University, Sen said there was a need to use the synergy of politics and unionism optimally for development of education.
“Politics is defined as the art of the possible. We must therefore look at ways to synergise politics and union movement to universalise and improve the quality of education in the country,” he said.
Though, he refused to comment on the Vishva Bharati row where a student was forced to lick her urine for bedwetting, Sen – an alumnus of the university founded by another Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore – said punishment to students has never yielded any positive results.
He said the quality of school education in India was inferior in comparision to other countries and urged on the need to explore ways to develop the standard of education.
“The reason for many prevalent social vices in our country is the lack of education. Education alone can remove caste or gender based or other inequalities. There is need to explore ways to spread education to remove the inequalities in the society,” added Sen.
Posted: 17 Jul 2012 04:30 PM PDT
The first Strike in St. Bede Shimla, Country’s oldest college has continued for a Week which has alarmed the State Government of Himachal Pradesh. CM Prem Kumar Dhumal has also intervened to solve the tussle between Employees and College Management.
Dhumal directed the state's education secretary and education director to convene a meeting of the college management and the striking employees to resolve the crisis on priority, an official statement said.
Dhumal said it was the responsibility of the college management to protect the interests of its employees and pay them all benefits due to them from time to time.
The stalemate continued for the ninth day Tuesday as the teaching and non-teaching staff abstained from work.
The striking teachers and administrative staff said they would resume duty only when the management fulfilled responsibility of paying 23 percent dearness allowance and restoring employees' provident fund (EPF).
The college authorities reduced employees EPF to 12 percent from 23 percent from June.
This is unprecedented in the 108-year-old history of the college that all the staff have struck work.
St. Bede's, which has been imparting education since 1904 and boasts of alumni such as actress Preity Zinta and late model Persis Khambatta, has 850 students, including 100 boarders.
Posted: 17 Jul 2012 03:30 PM PDT
The Days of Directorate General of Civil Aviation, DGCA are over. Soon it would be replaced by a new Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) , said Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, in an effort to show some progress towards fixing Aviation Turnmoil in India.
“As the DGCA has not been able to effectively regulate the growing needs of the industry, including state-run and private airlines, we propose to replace it with the CAA by amending the relevant act through a bill in the winter session of Parliament,” Ajit Singh told reporters here.
To strictly reinforce safety and security of millions of passengers, state-run and private airlines, their aircraft and operations, the minister said that time had come to redefine the regulator’s role and strengthen it to meet the challenges of the growing sector.
“Flying is no more a luxury but a necessity in a growing economy. It is not only the rich, but also a growing number of middle class people are opting to fly to fulfil their needs and commitments. Civil aviation is a part of the infrastructure,” he observed.
Admitting that the civil aviation sector was going through turbulent times due to multiple factors such as huge financial losses, higher cost of operations, high cost of aviation turbine fuel and heavy taxation, Ajit Singh said the ministry was drafting a comprehensive policy to set regulatory standards and create an eco-system for an early turn around.
“All airlines are having acute financial stress with a cumulative loss of Rs.10,000 crore in the last fiscal (2011-12), face large credit exposure to (state-run) banks, pay more for fuel and bear multiple taxes,” he lamented.
Earlier, Ajit Singh chaired a meeting of the parliamentary consultative committee of his ministry here.
Posted: 17 Jul 2012 02:50 PM PDT
Now Ludhiyana would also have Metro Trains. Punjab CM Prakash Singh Badal has approved the Ludhiyana Metro Rail Project at and estimated cost of Rs 10,300 Crores and timeline of 5 years.
A detailed presentation on the project was made by the local government department and Punjab Infrastructure Development Board before Badal and other senior functionaries here Tuesday.
“It was decided in the meeting that the land required for the project would be provided by the state government with minimal displacement of the people across the city,” the spokesperson said.
“At the same time, emphasis would be made to execute the underground Metro corridor, especially in the densely-populated areas, though it was quite capital intensive as comparable to fully or partly elevated corridor. The prime objective was to avoid undue harassment to the people on account of their dislocation,” the spokesperson said.
Ludhiana, 110 km from here, is one of the country’s biggest industrial hubs.
Owing to its expansion over the last three decades, Ludhiana has become a congested and chaotic city. It has a population of over 3.5 million.
Badal also approved the proposal of the local government department for setting up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the smooth and effective implementation of the Metro project.
Badal said that at the time when traffic congestion on the roads of Ludhiana had increased manifold and resulted in heightened air pollution and accident risks, the Metro would be the only viable solution and provide for fast, safe and low-cost transport system.
The Metro will have a total length of about 29 km and 27 stations.
The Ludhiana Metro project will now need approval from the urban development and other union ministries.
Posted: 17 Jul 2012 02:30 PM PDT
For the First Time in Five Years Bihar grew by 16.71 percent which in itself is a record,according to data tabulated by Finance Minister Sushil Modi,
Bihar has recorded overall growth rate of 16.71 per cent during 2011-2012, the highest in the past five years, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said today.
Modi, who also holds the finance portfolio, said the state has created a record in foodgrains production during the year which is the highest since Independence.
Bihar produced 166.69 lakh mt of foodgrains during 2011-2012 compared to 103.47 lakh mt last year, he said quoting latest figures which were made available in June.
The 2011-12 agriculture production marked a growth rate of 17.16 per cent, which was considerably higher than in the previous years, Modi said.
The growth rate had been as low as 0 per cent from 1992-95 which rose to 3.8 per cent from 1995-1996 till 2001-02.
“Despite the ups and downs in the previous years the NDA government has tried to stabilise it and now we have plans to achieve a growth rate at 13 per cent during 12th Five Year Plan,” he said, adding the state government was working in this direction.
He said earlier there was misconception about Bihar’s growth rate as it was believed that it was based only on construction and communication. “It has now been established that the increase of growth rate has been because of record production of foodgrains.”
“We have worked out an agriculture road map for the next five years on which the state government proposes to spend more than Rs 150 lakh crore to boost agriculture production, storage, animal resources, dairy, poultry and other allied activities,” Modi said, adding it would boost the income of the people of the state.
Posted: 17 Jul 2012 01:30 PM PDT
A Recovery Agent working for Reliance Telecom, has been denied bail in a case of threatening the Husband of a Rajya Sabha MP by posing as Police Officers.
“These types of offences are increasing day by day and are deliberate in nature. Keeping in view the modus operandi and the nature of the offence, it seems that the accused may misuse the liberty of bail by repeating the offence. Seeing the gravity of the offence, the bail is dismissed,” Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate ((ACMM) Amit Bansal said.
Ankit Panwar, who runs Shine Star Solutions which has an agreement with Reliance Communication Pvt Ltd (RCOM) to recover dues for the latter from defaulting customers, and his employee Lalit Gupta, a 19-year-old student, had been arrested on June 13 for allegedly threatening and abusing Rajen Thakur, husband of Rajya Sabha MP Prabha Thakur.
The court, in its order, said though Panwar’s firm had entered into an agreement with RCOM to act as recovery agents, the “contract does not say to commit illegal activities.”
The matter came to light when the lawmaker, a resident of Udaipur in Rajasthan, approached Delhi police alleging her husband was being harassed by a caller, posing as a cop, a lawyer and government official.
The accused duo were arrested by the Crime Branch on June 13 and since then they are in judicial custody.
The MP, in her complaint, said the caller claimed himself to be Inspector Ashok Singh Rana from Kashmeri Gate police station here and he used to say that he was calling on behalf of Reliance Mobile Service Pvt Ltd.
Posted: 17 Jul 2012 12:30 PM PDT
Punjab CM Prakash Singh Badal has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene in order to conserve the Ancestral House of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Pakistan.
Badal urged the prime minister to direct the external affairs ministry to take up with the Pakistan government the issue of the dilapidated condition of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s ancestral haveli at Gujaranwala and “baradri” of Maharaja Sher Singh at Lahore to ensure prompt action for proper upkeep and conservation of these historic monuments, said a spokesman of the chief minister’s office.
In a letter to the prime minister, Badal noted that “Sher-e-Punjab” Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the founder of the Sikh empire which extended from the Khyber Pass in the west, to Kashmir in the north, Sindh in the south, and Tibet in the east.
“Henceforth, it is the bounden duty of the Government of India to immediately take up this issue with the Pakistan government for the proper upkeep and maintenance of these two great historic monuments, which are now in a state of sheer neglect, as a befitting tribute to the great warriors of Sikhs,” Badal said.
He said that the state government was also ready to offer necessary support, if need be, for the preservation of these monuments for future generations. The historical religious sentiments of people of Punjab were linked to these monuments, Badal added.
Posted: 17 Jul 2012 11:53 AM PDT
Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) will burn copies of the Jammu and Kashmir interlocutors’ “dangerous” report across the country soon. RSS leader Indresh Kumar told media persons here that the RSS would soon decide a date to burn the copies of the report submitted by the three interlocutors to the central government.
“The interlocutors’ report is extremely dangerous for the unity and integrity of the country. It will lead to division of the country,” he alleged, terming the report as being against Kashmir’s integration with India.
The report has recommended the setting up of a constitutional committee to review all central laws extended to the state and making permanent Article 370 of the constitution that grants the state a special status.
Indresh Kumar said the interlocutors had taken a line which will allow a third agency to mediate on the Kashmir issue which India will not tolerate.
He said that Pakistan had no right to the areas of Kashmir it currently occupies.
The report, “A New Compact with the People of Jammu and Kashmir”, prepared by the three interlocutors – senior journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and former information commissioner M.M. Ansari – was made public early this month.
Earlier BJP had also taken a strong objection to this Report. Party Leader Sushma Swaraj said it is an attempt to wipe off the efforts of leaders like Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.
Swaraj also criticised the interlocutors for suggesting changing the word about Article 370 of Constitution from ‘temporary’ to ‘Special’ and said suggestion to include it with Article 371, “is an attempt to create a divide as due to Article 370 Jammu and Kashmir could not gel into India.”
Addressing the dharna, RSS leader Ram Madhav said the report is against the spirit of non-negotiable integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India in 1947.
“Mirpur, Muzaffrabad and Gilgit is ours. This report has included only sentiments of leaders of Kashmir Valley. Any report should have the sentiments in it, but it should not be against the Constitution,” Madhav said.
He alleged the interlocutors report is an attempt to include the voices of those who do not have respect for the Constitution.
They have failed to put versions of the refugees, the Kashmiri Pandits, who have been forcefully evicted from their land, he said.
Ramesh Raina, General Secretary of All India Kashmir Samaj, said Kashmiri Pandits are indigenous to the state. “But the report does not say how the sufferings and victimisation of Pandits can be stopped,” he said.
He said, “Central to the problem of Jammu and Kashmir is the issue of Kashmiri Pandits, their non-recognition and their non-assimilation into the mainstream.”
Raina also said that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had in its report said that atrocities against Kashmiri Pandits were akin to genocide.
Terming the interlocutors’ report as one that divides the country, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) member Surendra Jain said that a whopping Rs. 96.5 crore was wasted by the three-member team during their visit to 22 villages.
Posted: 17 Jul 2012 09:23 AM PDT
After six months of investigation, one more doctor was arrested in connection with the leak of papers of AIIMS post-graduate medical entrance test organised Jan 8, police said Tuesday.
Dev Prakash Dewangan, 23, was arrested July 15 from his house in Raipur in Chhattisgarh. He is the ninth accused to be taken into custody.
Dewangan, an MBBS from a college in Raipur, had agreed to pay Rs.18 lakh to a gang which assured him pass marks in the post-graduate course entrance test, police said.
“In September 2011, he went to Nagpur to enquire about paid seats in a post-graduation course. There he met Mohit Choudhary, 23, the kingpin of the racket, who informed Dewangan that he was conducting a three-day capsule course for the post-graduate entrance exam of AIIMS,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sanjay Kumar Jain.
Jain said that Choudhary, who has been arrested, guaranteed him pass marks in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) post-graduate entrance exam for Rs.18 lakh.
The exam was conducted by the AIIMS for filling 50 percent of the post-graduate seats in government colleges across the country.
Nearly 70,000 candidates appeared in the exam that was conducted at 156 centres.
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